Thursday, February 20, 2014

Requesting Info for 10 Year Cutoff for Tier 4 Members

One of my original postings in 2009 was about the cutoff of Tier 4 members 3% required contributions after earning ten years of credited service. This benefit was granted by Chapter 110 of the Laws of 2000.

Operationally, this statutory change required NYCERS to monitor the accumulation of service of Tier 4 members who join NYCERS after 2000. Because of Tier 6, members who join after April 1, 2012 are no longer entitled to the 10 year cutoff. New members, who transfer or restore prior memberships with start dates before the April 1, 2012 date, still qualify.

To support this service tracking requirement, I had the IT division develop a Tier 4 required contribution system to augment the service history system that was already in place. You can see the service history file on the NYCERS web site when you sign on to your account.

The required contribution system was developed after the web site was implemented in 2003. Unfortunately, I was not able to migrate it to the web site before I was terminated in March of 2005. Nine years later and it is still not on the web site.

In light of this, I recommend that all Tier 4 members request a copy of their required contribution workup so that they aware of any shortages in their account. It is especially relevant to members who have not reached their 10 year cutoff and are 1) purchasing military or prior service or 2) transferring or restoring other memberships. The workup will allow them to see whether they have crossed the 10 year threshold or how close they are to it. They will then be able to know when the 3% contributions should stop.

In addition to the required contribution workup, all members should request a copy of their annuity account history. This is another valuable file that should be on the NYCERS web site but has never made it there. It outlines by year the deposits, withdrawals, interest earned, and closing balances for each member's contribution account.